Rice pie is traditionally served alongside ricotta pie for Easter Sunday dessert, but I’ll let you in on a secret: the best time to eat it is Monday morning.
Rice pie is served at room temperature, and Easter Sunday night, the leftovers get wrapped and refrigerated.
Makes 10-12 servings.
Makes (one) 10.5-inch pie
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- ¼ cup sugar
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ¾ stick unsalted butter (chilled)
- 1 extra large egg or 2 small eggs
- 1-2 tablespoons ice water, or as much as needed
- 1/2 cup uncooked Arborio rice
- 4 cups water or whole milk*
- 7 large eggs
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 teaspoons lemon extract (or the zest and juice of 1 Meyer lemon)
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1 pound ricotta cheese (drained)
- For the crust, combine flour, sugar, salt, and baking powder in the work bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade; pulse several times to combine.
- Add the butter and pulse about 10 times until the dough becomes pebbly in texture.
- Add the eggs and pulse repeatedly until the dough begins to stick together.
- Slowly add the ice water by the tablespoonful, while using a few long pulses.
- Add more drops of ice water as necessary, until the dough holds together well.
- Invert the dough onto a floured work surface.
- Form into a circle, flatten into a disc, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate while preparing the filling. (Dough can be kept in the refrigerator for up to 2 days before continuing.)
- If you don’t have a processor, then combine the dry ingredients in a bowl; add chunks of chilled butter, and using a pastry blender or two forks, chop the butter until it resembles little pebbles.
- At this point, add the eggs and ice water, and stir with a spoon until the dough begins to form.
- Using your hands and working the dough as little as you can, transfer it to a lightly floured surface.
- Knead until the dough holds together. Form the dough into a ball, flatten into a disc, wrap in plastic, and chill while preparing the filling.
- (Dough can be kept in the refrigerator for up to 2 days before continuing.)
- To make the filling, place the rice and water in medium heavy-bottom saucepan and bring to a boil.
- Reduce the heat to low and cook the rice, uncovered, stirring occasionally for about 15-20 minutes, or until the water is absorbed and the rice is sticky.
- The rice should still be firm as it will finish cooking in the oven. Remove from heat and set aside.
- Add the eggs and sugar to a large bowl and using a hand-mixer, beat until well combined.
- Then add lemon extract and vanilla extract, and beat on low for about 10 seconds.
- Add the drained ricotta and beat on low for a few seconds until just combined. Add cooked rice and mix with a rubber spatula until well combined, making sure there are no clumps of rice.
- Place in the refrigerator.
- Place a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat to 375 degrees F. Coat the 10.5-inch pie plate with cooking spray.
- Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured surface and roll into an 11- inch circle. Transfer the dough to the prepared pie plate, gently pressing it into the bottom and sides.
- No fluted crust in necessary since, like a tart, the crust is flush with the filling. At this point, set the crust in the freezer for about 10-15 minutes to get it really chilled, which will make for a flakier crust.
- Remove the chilled crust from the freezer and pour the filling to about 1/4 of an inch below the top of the crust, as it will puff up slightly when baking.
- Bake for 1 hour or until the filling puffs up, turns golden, and is “set,” meaning it should not be jiggly when you gently move the pie plate from side-to-side. Note: If you have some extra filling left over, then you can pour it into a small baking dish or ramekins for a crustless version, and follow the same baking instructions.
- Remove from the oven and let cool on a rack. Serve at room temperature or chilled.
- If you find the rice is completely cooked after the 20 minutes and there is still some water left, you can simply drain it. Note: Though 1/2 cup arborio rice to 4 cups water or milk usually works perfectly, depending on the brand of rice, some absorb more, some less.
Note: I use a 10.5-inch pie plate, slightly larger than average. You can also make it in a 10-12- inch square or rectangular glass dish.
Note: Leftover rice pie can be stored in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days.